Beware. You are about to enter the most difficult time of the year from a nutrition and exercise standpoint. It’s the time of the year when temptations abound, your mind plays tricks, hectic schedules and family gatherings stress you out, and you start thinking that maybe you’ll just face your weight issues in January. After all, that’s what January 1 is for.
That would be a big mistake.
Don’t let the title of my blog fool you. The Power of Healing Through Fitness and Nutrition does not imply that you shouldn’t be hard on yourself and it does not imply that you shouldn’t be disciplined. In fact, its message is just the opposite. Healing is a process, but understand that healing takes guts, determination and action. We let ourselves off the hook much too easily in this society. The new message has become “I’m fine the way I am”. I’m not suggesting that you as a person are not ok as you are, but if you’re carrying substantial body fat and very rarely exercising, then all the self affirmations in the world will not negate your physical reality. It places your health at risk, and usually has a negative impact on self esteem.
Here are my recommendations for the holidays:
– Don’t diet stringently through the holidays (unless you’re one of my clients and we have a specific goal). The holidays are a good time to learn portion control, planning meals in advance, building in healthy foods and maintaining within 2-3 pounds of your current weight. It can be done. You don’t have to have the usual gain of 7-10 pounds that many people experience.
– Start your day with a success, and exercise first thing in the morning. Don’t try to do it 6 days per week if you hate exercise because that all or nothing approach will fail – as it usually does. Commit to 4 days. Write it in your calendar and do it. Try to get a friend to workout with you – the support really does make a difference. If you’re trapped inside due to the weather then use exercise DVD’s , invest in dumbbells and get a brisk full body workout. Just do something!
None of this means you can’t enjoy holiday food or that you have to become the household exercise freak. It just means that you have to call upon your common sense, your sensibility and your discipline.
On January 1, you’ll be proud of yourself and can set some realistic goals. And that’s how you want to start the year – proud of yourself, not frantic. It’s all about what you do in the moment.